5 Most Important Things You Need To Know About Facebook Privacy

Every time Facebook changes their privacy settings there seems to be a flutter of responses and outcries from their user base. With over 1 billion users, it’s no surprise that there are going to be a few disgruntled peeps.

Recently, a slew of status updates have been posted on Facebook by users who are claiming that they are outraged by Facebook’s recent privacy update and that they retain full copyright over their information or posts made on Facebook.  Something like this: did an article on this proving it was false and meaningless. But in the future, when Facebook changes their privacy status, you can just go to Facebook’s Policies page and click on Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and you can see the things you agreed to when signing up for Facebook.

The 5 things you need to know are as follows:

  1. You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. However,
    And this is where it gets interesting and tricky….
  2. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.Which means that basically everything you put on Facebook is up for grabs by Facebook unless Facebook goes out of business. Because the chances of your friends deleting content you’ve shared with them is slim.
  3. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).Meaning, Facebook has access to your content, but no one else does. And in a class I taught recently, some young buck told me that they hold it for 180 days after you delete your account. Still need to verify that piece of data.
  4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).Meaning, Facebook relinquishes all responsibility for anything you publish as public. Remember the 15 year old kid from China who publishes public content on  – you don’t want your stuff published here unless it’s what you want to be famous for and given the columns, I don’t think you do. 
  5. When you use an application, the application may ask for your permission to access your content and information as well as content and information that others have shared with you.  We require applications to respect your privacy, and your agreement with that application will control how the application can use, store, and transfer that content and information.  (To learn more about Platform, including how you can control what information other people may share with applications, read our Data Use Policy and Platform Page.)Meaning, you need to check your app settings under your Privacy settings – right now. I know you think you don’t use any apps, or you’re okay with the apps you are using, but there’s a section in there that allows your friends apps to access your data.To fix, go to: Privacy settings>Ads, Apps, & websites>Edit settings>How people bring your info to apps they use> then go in and uncheck all of these boxes  and click Save changes. Why on earth anyone would leave any of these checked is beyond me.


 Any questions? Leave them in the comments below.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.